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Hydrotherapy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Hydrotherapy, earlier called the hydropathy is defined as the use of water to treat a medical condition or to maintain the general health. The therapy belongs to conventional medicine as well as alternative medicine. It is said to be used in naturopathy, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. The treatment involves the therapeutic use of water to provide healing effects.

Many prefer hydrotherapy or Aqua therapy as it is a natural way of treatment and the results are approving. Water has many properties that aid in providing relief. It improves blood flow and has a soothing, calming, and relaxing effect on the patient. Certain postures when done in water are easier to do and provide immense relief to painful joints. The increase in buoyancy (opposite to gravity) allows for more degrees of activity and hence exercises done in water are more effective than when done on land. Different temperature conditions inside the water also play a role in this therapy. The increase in temperature and hydrostatic pressure increases blood circulation and body’s flexibility and decreases swelling.

Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because this constitutes specific postures and exercises and is commonly administered in a hot water pool. The water temperature of such a pool is usually maintained between 33-36 º C. which is warmer than a typical swimming pool.

How is the treatment done?

Hydrotherapy primarily includes anything from floating in the water and directly benefiting from the increased temperature and relaxation properties to highly intense exercise sessions. The form of hydrotherapy used will depend entirely on the conditions of the individual undergoing treatment. Many land based exercises can be therapeutically used in the water. Walking in a pool is easy on the joints due to the buoyancy. Some state-of-the-art facilities may even have underwater treadmills! Other exercises such as squats and lunges can also be done inside the pool.

One method of hydrotherapy is also known as the Bad Ragaz Ring Method. It is a form of muscle re-education where the patient is kept afloat, and specific patterns of resistance, endurance, elongation, relaxation, a range of motion, and tonal reduction techniques are applied. As mentioned earlier all the exercises are progressed by increasing the speed of the movement or the turbulence of the water. Other methods of increasing difficulty include increasing surface area. This can be achieved for example by holding something wide in hand (such as a racket or bat) when moving it through the water.

The buoyancy of the water acts as either a tool to assist movement or to increase the difficulty of an exercise. For example, when using the shoulder, the water can be used to help in lifting the arm upwards from by the side. Also, the water will provide some resistance against pushing the arm back down. This resistance can be increased further by attaching a float to the arm.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Hydrotherapy is used in many illnesses and medical conditions. It is effective in most cases of arthritis and rheumatic illness. It is also advised to asthma patients and a range of problems such as cold, depression, stomach problems, nerve problems, headaches, and sleep disorders. It is also used by many to maintain the overall health. The treatment is most effective for Stage-1 patients. In the case of higher severity of illness, it is used along with other treatments. Statistics says that hydrotherapy has a very high success rate when it is used for a prolonged time. It shows satisfying results in most cases. However, the severity assessment is the primary criteria for the effectiveness of the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Hydrotherapy is advisable to everyone, however, under certain circumstances, hydrotherapy is not recommended.

The therapy is not recommended for persons with:

  • Acute injuries with redness still visible on the injury
  • High temperature
  • Heart disease - increased blood flow may put stress on the heart
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) – increased blood flow may place stress on the heart
  • Vascular conditions - Extensive circulation is not advised in such a situation
  • Kidney problems
  • Cancer
  • Haemorrhage

Are there any side effects?

Hydrotherapy is safe if it is administered correctly. Several people may react differently to the extent and magnitude of treatment. Some people may have headaches, aches and pains, sleep problems, nausea, chilliness, and faintness. It is important to discuss the physical condition and medical history with the doctor or physical therapist before trying hydrotherapy.

Always tell the doctor if an alternative therapy is already on. It is not safe to forgo conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative treatment. Invasive hydrotherapy techniques like enemas, douching, and colonic irrigation is not well accepted by medicinal science because these internal cleansing methods can cause damage to an individual by interfering with the natural balance of the digestive tract.

Hydrotherapy often puts on a risk of allergic reaction known as "contact dermatitis" for some patients using essential herbs and oils in their bath water. Overheating is one of the most common side effects of hydrotherapy, which can be very harmful. This may occur when an individual spends too much time in a hot tub or pool.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There is no specific post treatment instruction after undergoing hydrotherapy. Though it should be kept in mind to maintain the patient at ease for a few hours after the treatment. Laborious works should not be undertaken. It should also be borne in mind that the patient is kept warm after the treatment or else there arise chances of catching a cold.

How long does it take to recover?

There is no fixed recovery time for this treatment. The individual can walk out if he or she feels comfortable in doing so. Though it depends on the practitioner, who accesses the conditions of a severity of the ailments and decides the recovery time.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of one session Hydrotherapy depends on the severity of the ailment of the patient. The average price of the treatment in India ranges between INR 1000 to INR 10000depending on the case and the organization performing the therapy.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of hydrotherapy are not permanent as it gives temporary relief from the ailment by increasing the flow of blood. Though prolonged used of hydrotherapy have shown instances of permanent cure in arthritis and asthma.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Some common alternatives of hydrotherapy are a Steam bath, Sauna Bath, Spa therapy, Sitz bath, Wet sock treatment, and Hot fomentation.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: High Side Effects: Medium Recovery Time: Medium Price Range: RS. 1000 - Rs. 10,000

Popular Health Tips

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Dr. Vishwas Virmani 90% (18149 ratings)
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5 Strengthening Techniques/exercises to Treat Polio
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5 Spine Strengthening Exercises for Ankylosing Spondylitis in Water/pool

Dr. Vishwas Virmani 90% (18149 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Noida
5 Spine Strengthening Exercises for Ankylosing Spondylitis in Water/pool
Loss of muscle strength is a feature of AS. Muscles weaken owing to postural deformity and inactivity and the associated pain. Strengthening of the anti-gravity muscle groups and abdominal muscles is important to maintain an erect posture, and it enables everyday activities to be undertaken with greater ease. Example of extensor muscle groups are the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine extensors and glutei. Exercises can be made harder by extending the lever arm using gravity as a resistance or by adding weights. Strengthening of other important muscle groups such as lumbar side flexors and thoracic rotators should not be omitted. These particular muscle groups can be effectively strengthened in the hydrotherapy pool. Strengthening exercises are held for several seconds and repeated at least three times. STRENGTHENING EXERCISES 1.SUPINE WITH HANDS HOLDING THE RAIL Make sure that the neck is supported in a neck float and push the occiput into the water during the exercise. Squeeze a medium-sized ring tightly around the hips or have a woggle or polystyrene floats under the buttocks to keep them elevated. Hold the rail to fix the trunk but not so tight that it aggravates the shoulders and neck. 2.LUMBAR HIP EXTENSORS A.With straight knees, take both heels down towards the bottom of the pool(hip and lumbar spine extension) B. Put a float behind the heel of one foot and take that foot down in the water until the foot is just under water. Take the other leg down in the water as far as possible and back up. Keep both knees straight. 3. LUMBAR SIDE-FLEXORSS Wing the legs as far as possible to each side, side-bending at the waist and keeping knees straight and the pelvis in neutral. 4.HIP ABDUCTORS AND ADDUCTORS Take the legs apart into abduction and back together again. Keep knees straight. 5.THORACIC ROTATORS Bend the knees to 90 degrees, put a float under the soles of the feet and keep hips in neutral. Keep the knees just under the surface of the water, while swinging the feet up towards the surface of the water to each side.

3 Exercise Techniques in Ankylosing Spondylitis

Dr. Vishwas Virmani 90% (18149 ratings)
Physiotherapist, Noida
3 Exercise Techniques in Ankylosing Spondylitis
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Natural Birth

Dr. Anita Gupta 87% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Gynae-Laproscopy
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A variety of methods are used during natural childbirth to help the mother. Pain management techniques other than analgesics and epidural analgesia include hydrotherapy, massage, relaxation therapy, hypnosis, breathing exercises, music therapy etc. These days ldr (labour, delivery and recovery) rooms are available in many hospitals for a better experience of the delivery as the husband or any other close relative can be present in these rooms along with the labouring mother throughout labour. The comfort of these rooms along with safe analgesic methods help in increasing the incidence of natural childbirth. Some myths are attached with labour and the methods used in aiding the mother during labour- 1. Epidural analgesia leads to caesarian sections in most cases. This belief is still held by some, but recent studies have shown that epidurals do not cause an increase in caesarian sections. In fact this aids in making the labour smoother and by reducing the extreme pain it helps the mother both mentally and physically. 2. Induction of labour always leads to a faster labour. Some mothers wish for a normal delivery but do not want to wait for natural pains. They want to deliver on the day of their liking. This can be done by induction of labour. But induction of labour does not always work. It works best when the cervix has already begun to soften and dilate. You may go in for your 39 or 40 week appointment hoping for a labour induction only to be told that your cervix is not favourable to be induced It is also possible to have a failed induction. This means that inspite of giving full dosage of labour inducing drugs you do not get pains at all. 3. Childbirth is best without any medication. Natural childbirth, with the aid of relaxation exercises and deep breathing in between contractions, offers one option for pain management. But there are situations when labour is much prolonged due to a slight abnormal presentation of the baby s head, or the uterine contractions are not effective or the mother has got exhausted, here medication will definitely help in aiding the mother to go through the labour and have a normal delivery. Therefore an unmedicated birth is ideal, but a happy, healthy birth is also possible with the use of medicines. 4. Once a caesarian birth always a caesarian birth. This may or may not be true depending on the reason of your caesarian section. Vaginal births after caesarian are becoming increasingly more common. You will need to discuss with your doctor whether a normal delivery will be possible for you. 8. Next labour will be easier. This may or may not be true for you. Generally speaking, consequent labours are shorter in duration, but that is not always true. Shorter does not always mean easier. This time your baby could be bigger than your first or the baby s head could be in a slightly abnormal position leading to a longer labour which could be even longer and more difficult than the previous one. Also if there is a long gap of many many years in between the pregnancies then it may be like the first labour. All said, always think positive, labour is a wonderful experience. The pain just vanishes on seeing your baby s face. Take antenatal classes where you are told about various exercises which will help you go through a smooth labour. Discuss with your doctor about various pain relieving methods during labour. God has made all women brave enough to go through a normal and natural childbirth.
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Cervical Osteoarthritis - Physical Therapy Treatment For It!!

Physiotherapist, Bangalore
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Cervical osteoarthritis is also known as cervical spondylosis. It is a medical condition which involves changes in the joints of neck, bones and discs. This is generally caused due to the deterioration of the muscles owing to old age. With age, the cervical spine breaks down and loses all its fluids. This leads to stiffness in the spine. It occurs usually in middle aged and old aged people. This causes stiffness and severe neck pain. Corrective surgery is helpful to cure Cervical Osteoarthritis. Symptoms of Cervical Osteoarthritis: Pain and stiffness in the neck. Headache which usually emerges from the neck. Severe pain in the arms and shoulder. Not being able to turn the head or neck fully while driving. Muscle spasm and abnormal reflexes. Grinding sensation or noise caused while bending the neck. Cervical Osteoarthritis can be cured by physiotherapy in the following ways: Heat modalities- In this method the pain and stiffness is reduced by putting heat on the affected area. This type of therapy is called heat therapy. Neck exercise- Regular stretching and bending exercises for the neck can reduce pain and stiffness Manipulating therapy- This form of therapy is used by massage therapists. They massage and manipulate the joints so that the muscles can function smoothly. Hydrotherapy- This therapy involves exercising in a pool. Hydrotherapy is extremely beneficial for people having severe joint pain and stiffness. Cervical traction- This is a common non-surgical treatment which cures pain in the neck by opening the cervical foramen (hole or passage). Physiotherapy is the most natural and safe way of curing cervical osteoarthritis. If you are diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, you should start physiotherapy as soon as possible.
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Popular Questions & Answers

Hello I have neck pain and due to this I have right shoulder and right arm pain. I am already consult with doctors and having MRI report also but still not getting actual problem and medicines.

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Erasmus Mundus Master in Adapted Physical Activity, MPT, BPTh/BPT
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This is cervical pain (neck pain) and that's the reason the pain radiates until the shoulder blades. If you keep ice that would help and along side you can do hot water fermentation. You shall use cervical collar which would help you to reduce the radiating pain ie. Due to the nerve compression. Cervical spondylosis – chronic condition with radiating pain As your rightly said you have to go for traction and also you can do IFT. Please consult the near by therapist for quick relief. Since you have pain for more than 10 years it is suggestible to go for cervical muscle strengthening exercise. Use collar will definitely be helpful for him to maintain the good posture. And also cervical pillow can be used which might make you to have better posture of the shoulder neck and arm. This is cervical pain (neck pain) and that's the reason the pain radiates until the shoulder blades. If you keep ice that would help and along side you can do hot water fermentation. You shall use cervical collar which would help you to reduce the radiating pain ie. Due to the nerve compression.

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Take Cantharis 12c 4tims day for 10days Sarasap 200 one dose alternate day for 10days Ber vul 3c 4tims day for 10days

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There is no known cure of fibromyalgia but physiotherapy and ayurveda may help ease the symptoms of pain. It can also help reduce stiffness and fatigue. In addition to exercise, physical therapists use a wide range of resources -- from deep tissue massage to ice and heat packs for hydrotherapy. And with this use twin stem sachet, guggal/suth, rise onn syrup, salakhi, polytos, and alovera ayurvedic medicine. Both of all reduce pain and disease and improve mobility and daily activity of living. And you find better asap.

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